The encumbrance factor is a very nice idea.  I am giving that a lot of thought. 
 Because the Safe zone will eventually allow you to drop off or pick up 
weapons, it would give people the choice to set out with only some of their 
weapons so as not to slow themselves down.

> Hmm, I see the direction you're going
> in and I think I get it.  I would find
> those particular ideas very "gamey" and they would detract
> from the
> "realism" that makes the game spooky and interesting. 
> On the other hand, I
> see the need to make the lesser weapons, pistol, hunting
> rifle and standard
> shotgun worth using in certain situations.  I
> personally love using the
> silenced pistol, as I enjoy ninja-ing around and sneaking
> up on the zombies.
> A simpler and less artificial way of doing this would be to
> decrease the
> number of weapon drops, while adding in the ability to drop
> off weapons in
> the safe zone or other places for other characters. 
> I'd also add an
> encumbrance factor, i.e. if you're overloaded with weapons
> and ammunition,
> you slow down in movement and rattle when you move,
> decreasing stealth.
> The proposed sniper rifle and machine gun should both
> require immobility and
> a lengthy setup process to limber and unlimber the
> weapons.  Perhaps you
> have to use the reload key to set up and arm the weapon
> from movement, and a
> different key to fold up and carry the weapon.  Both
> these weapons would
> have a high encumbrance value.
> If you add in the possibility of the automatic weapons
> jamming, all of a
> sudden the old reliable shotgun and hunting rifle gain some
> worth as they
> would be much less prone to malfunction.  Clearing a
> jam should require a
> fair amount of time and cannot be done on the run.
> I think these suggestions would balance the weapons a bit
> better, leaving a
> niche for everything.
>     Chris Bartlett

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